the tenth drawing in the Ten Oxherding Pictures: ‘Entering the town with offering hands’ is the natural consequence and the final goal of zazen. This is because the profound feeling of compassion originates in satori experience. With all people, share the complete freedom of Zen you have gained through zazen practice.
Watch all sentient beings
with merciful eyes.
[…] Praise sweat! Admire your dirty robes! […] For example, weeding and cleaning the temple yard is one of the important daily tasks for a Zen monk.
Sweeping leaves by the valley
in the evening sun
– a monk.
Why is he “sweeping leaves”? What on earth are the “leaves”? The answer is simple: the leaves are the illusions or the chains—of iron and of gold— that bind him. One by one, elaborately, he has to sweep up all the dead leaves from his own mind.
Cast away all the stink of satori! And work for others without blowing your own trumpet.
Like a fool,
like an idiot.
It may be endless and futile. Nevertheless, the monk with Bodhisattva’s compassion, can never stop offering hands till he dies.
Uit: A zen forest, sayings from the masters, translated, with an introduction, by Sōiku Shigematsu, Weatherhill, New York – Tokyo, 1981, p25-26.